Cancer shock won’t stop fundraiser Ben

Ben Peters, right, with best friend Scott Hale

Ben Peters, right, with best friend Scott Hale

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WHEN Ben Peters began fundraising for a cancer charity, he had no idea he would be diagnosed with the disease himself.

Ben, 22, had teamed up with best friend Scott Hale, who was raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of his grandmother Carole Potters.

But the Livingston pair had only just begun training for the Edinburgh Marathon when Ben, a greenkeeper at Ratho Park Golf Club, was diagnosed with Lymphoma – a cancer of a type of cell that forms part of the immune system.

“When I was training, I realised I had a problem and I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was, so I went to the doctor,” Ben explained.

“But it was the last thing I was expecting. I thought it was just a cold or something.

“When you are 22 years old and you don’t smoke and only drink occasionally, you think, what’s all that about?

“But as soon as I’m healthy I will be back out training again.”

Ben’s treatment is going well and the size of the tumour has reduced dramatically.

He has also been busy helping Scott to organise a two-day variety show, which has taken the town by storm.

Scott, 23, explained: “My gran died after she contracted cancer of the kidneys, which spread through her body.

“She was a real fighter and the only thing she wanted, even when she was sick, was to get back to work at Enable, which helps people with learning difficulties.

“The care she received from Macmillan Cancer Support was fantastic. I decided then that I would try and raise money for the charity, so myself and Ben began training for the Edinburgh Marathon.

“When he was diagnosed with cancer, I knew that I had to carry on, in memory of my gran and in support of my friend.

“Everything just kind of snowballed from there.

“I had planned a low-key sing-a-long for family and friends, for about 100 people, to raise enough money to enter the marathon.

“It turned in to a two-day variety show in Livingston’s Howden Park Theatre. I was totally taken aback by the response.

“Livingston is a very new town and it doesn’t have much of a community spirit yet – or so I thought.

“There were so many people and businesses wanting to help and we had around 150 people who wanted to perform.”

On the bill are solo singers, groups, a magician and comedy acts.

“During the show we will be paying our respects to all others that have been touched by the disease and it will be a celebration of life,” said Scott.

The show takes place on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4 from 7pm to 10pm.

Tickets, priced £10 for adults and £7.50 for children, are available from Howden Park Centre Box Office on 01506-777 666.

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com